There, I just killed two birds with one stone. Two of the most overused clichés in our industry in one post title. Goddamn, I'm good.

I believe in both of those statements, however. To some degree.

First, content.

Content on a site gives Search life, meaning. Search thrives on content. The crawl bot eats it up. Like a bear on a bee hive. The more honey in the hive, the longer the bear will be there to feast. And a steady stream of honey means a very happy bear. Bears. Bots. Battlestar Galactica.

Therefore one could surmise that the more content on one's site the more relevance you might have in search as Daddy Crawlbot will digest your honey and rank you accordingly in Search.

That, my friend, is complete and utter bullshit. As I've said before, content without meaning is spam. You can post to your website all day long, send out a thousand tweets an hour and update your Faceboob headline every hot second of the social networking day, but unless you are diligently propagating worthwhile content, you're just polluting the digital world. You are high fructose corn syrup in a sugar junkie's world.

And the Panda and Penguin duo will tag-team drop kick you into last year if you don't change your irrelevancy.

So what is good, quality content?

Content on websites boils down to three search queries: informational, navigational and transactional.

Informational queries seek answers to questions, duh. Navigational puts a user in direct contact with a specific site or page of a specific site; and Transactional is, as you would guess, for acquisition.

Your content should satisfy user intent based on these categories. That, to me, would determine quality. Or at least point you in Quality's direction.

Blogging lends itself to opinion; much is the case on MerryFools, which makes judging the quality of blog content somewhat difficult. It's still informational as it requires research or knowledge of a subject to form an intelligent opinion, but one's skill in writing will always be subject to a reader's perspective. (How a search engine determines writing aptitude is beyond me, but that's another post.)

So long as your content answers to one of those queries to the best of your honest effort, you should have nothing to fret toward quality.

As for SEO

Don't get suckered by SEO companies promising you a golden ticket visit to page one of the SERPs.

Most of that type of SEO propaganda is complete hype. Voodoo, as one of my teammates calls it. And outside of your on-page efforts anything non-natural occurring off-page is equal to gaming the system. Black hat, gray hat, whatever hat you wear or think you wear, Google don't like and what Google don’t like, Google penalize. And I guarantee a company promising page one results is a penalty waiting to happen.

In SEO, Google is king of search. That means Google makes the rules. So determining what is okay in ways of promotion will be set forth by the almighty G. I tend to use Google's tools as a guideline in judging where the line in the sand lies.

There's a social networking metric in Analytics, so I know promotion through those media is fine with the Boo!gle. Now, don't get skeered but any other kind of linking scheme will be thwarted when found. The operative word there being when.

Naturally occurring linking will come from great content, it has been said, but you only get links naturally when your great content can be found. So what's a site to do in the meantime?

SEO and quality content have a symbiotic relationship, maybe even a synonymous relationship. Great content will already be optimized for search. It will have all the key requisites for relevancy in topic. Great content will attract readers who will want to link to your content.

But you still need a proper delivery system to get your written word out there. Facebook, Twitter, others I don't use, are all perfect delivery systems for getting your site noticed. Long tail keyword phrases picked up by the Googlebot will get your content indexed near the top of the SERPs on its own.

There's really not a lot to SEO that anyone should fear or consider out of reach for someone not in the business. Even for someone with no clue what SEO means. Thank your lucky stars there are plenty of websites about how to optimize your website for search.

I guess what I'm saying is that at the end of the day, content IS king and SEO IS dead, but in conversation only.

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Photo Credit: Sandra Bernhardt as Hamlet By Lafayette Photo, London [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons